Our DNA Exceptions

Increasing Undergraduate Access to Authentic Research Experiences

The Characterizing Our DNA Exceptions (CODE) program is a network of post-secondary educators and science researchers working to introduce authentic bioinformatics research to undergraduate students using computational modeling and database analysis to characterize DNA variants identified through clinical studies.

The CODE project’s primary goal is to increase access to research-based learning experiences, particularly for students at small institutions with fewer undergraduate research opportunities. Almost 200 faculty and students have explored the field of bioinformatics with a CODE project since the program’s inception in 2018.

The CODE program provides facilitator training, protein modeling software, an informational website, and an annual student symposium for undergraduates and mentors. We seek to place genomic analysis within the grasp of a broader, more diverse audience and believe these research experiences will introduce more students to computational biology and encourage persistence in science fields.


Why was the CODE project developed by the HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach team? Learn about the background and mission of the CODE project. A full description of why we think bioinformatics research is valuable and crucial for the future can be found here.

Learn how you can become a part of CODE and introduce your students to authentic bioinformatics-based research projects to build their confidence and experience. 

Project Resources

Begin your research project here. Use the general project overviews to map out your research plan. Explore helpful links to online tools and databases and some example student projects. Post a question or scan the Q & A section for advice from the CODE community.


Ready to get started? Look here for background information to improve your knowledge and tutorials to help you navigate the YASARA software. Step-by-step written protocols and short how-to videos will guide you through working with the databases, online tools, and the protein modeling and simulations.

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